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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 8, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT

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openings really throughout this year. in fact, i think a great example is a park that opens in mid april. it's an important part of the season for them. this year, because of the sequester cuts, they weren't able to open until mid may. so just local businesses alone lost about $30 million in revenue. so now the season, another season which is so important. many people remember the government shutdown last time. this time it's even much worse because this is peak season for so many of the national parks. so whether it's weddings, vacations, whether it's concessioneers losing thousands of dollars a day, this is an incredible hit for local communities and those that depend on the national parks. . host: if you got to the website you can see the running ticker of the cost of the park shutdown to the local park economies. there's also a flicker page we can show you that your group put
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together with photos of the shutdown at different parks. according to the national park service, 401 national park sites are closed under this partial government shutdown. over 20,000 furloughed staff. 3,000 staff deemed essential. 715,000 park visitors per day turned away. 450,000 in lost federal revenue per day. 300,000 in lost entrance fees. 150,000 in other lost spending. on the 715,000 visitors turned away, who makes that decision? how and why they are turned away? guest: under the federal shutdown, the government shutdown, congress basically has shut down the federal government. and so what that has caused is all the national parks must close their doors. as you can imagine the national parks is responsible for the protection of our national parks and public safety. and so when they have to furlough 85% of their workers, they don't have the staff to keep the parks opened and to
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maintain them, provide the kind of public safety and assurances that people visiting the parks can count on. all of the 401 national parks that are required to close. host: the national park service director joined us on the phone on the "washington journal" last week and he talked about the decision to allow veterans access to the world war ii memorial after they were not allowed to see the memorial. let's play that and have you respond. >> it's opened to veterans that are arriving on the honor flights as a part of first amendment activities. we made the decision in the closure of the 401 national parks across the country that we would still hon gror first -- honor first amendment activities on the national mall, on the ellipse, and on the grounds at independence in philadelphia because these are probably the most important sites for the exercise of the first amendment of the constitution. and particularly in these sort of troubling times.
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american zints want to exercise that right. so we needed to respect that. and we have recognized that these honor flights for our world war ii veterans are basically exercising their first amendment. so we are allowing them in. other than that, the memorial as well as the other monuments are closed. host: what about his explanation there? guest: i think that was so important. we were so pleased to be able to see them do that. of course that is such a critical -- to have our world war ii vets come into washington, d.c., for a lifetime visit, to be able to see the very memorial that honored their service and not get in is outrageous. the fact that they were able to do that and dedicate the kind of supports and services they needed to open that i thought that was great. host: what's the difference between that group and any tourist who is exercising their rights under the constitution to go see a memorial? guest: it's a huge challenge and difficult decisions every day that i'm sure the park
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certificate is viss is making. you have to follow 85% -- furlough 85% of your staff they can't physically open all the mob umets and national parks across the country without the federal government opening. as you recall the parks have already been underfunded. the sequester hit very hard. they got 13% budget cuts the last few years. so they are already dealing with less staff and more difficulty in managing the national parks. when you add a federal closure, how can it possibly open the national parks across the country? host: let's hear what congressman mark sanford had to say, republican of south carolina. he was on the floor recently talking about this shutdown, this go around compared to the last time. >> but it turns out there's some things i didn't know about the lincoln memorial. i had become so agitated i asked a tourist to take a picture. it's an amazing picture of, again, the lincoln memorial without people. because what i have come to learn is that it is always -- it has always been place with
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people. i didn't realize that in the last government shutdown president clinton elected not to close down the lincoln memorial. i didn't realize there have been 17 shutdowns in this country since 1976 and not one president-elected to close down the lincoln memorial. that means president ford, president carter, president reagan, president bush, and president clinton each when given the discretion in how they would handle a shutdown chose not to hold americans hostage in somehow gaining political favor in shut down that would hurt them on their tour to washington, d.c. in fact what i came to learn is that in the history of the american republic the lincoln memorial has never been shut down. so my simple question would be why?
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host: is that true? that shutdown compared the lincoln memorial was not barricaded. guest: we remember a few months ago the vandalism that occurred at the lincoln memorial. as we know these monuments are susceptible to that kind of action. right now given post9/11 and the kinds of pair cadse that do exist in washington, d.c., many monuments were barricaded because they k it was very difficult in prior closings. they didn't have the physical structures that are in place now. but the reality is all of these places should be opened. our national parks need to be opened. our monufmentse need to be opened. the federal -- monuments need to be opened. the federal government needs to take action and congress and the administration to make that a we think that it was a decision that was, i'm sure, they difficult, but it's the fact that the federal government does not have -- they haven't approved a budget in many years
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now and we are continuing to see these funding impacts. host: the decision does lie with the president on which memorials should be closed and which ones should be opened during a government shutdown? guest: the reality is the national park service had to furlough 85% of their staff. they don't have the staff to manage these incredible resources. their job is to protect these treasures for all of us and for future generations. and we know that the increased vandalism has begun across the country in some of the national parks because they don't have the staffing there to protect them. so it's a difficult decision. we see vandalism even occur when they are opened. now you take away the support and protection that the park service is able to provide, and it's a very difficult choice. host: the house last week took a piecemeal approach to opening up up the government. one component was to fund the national park service. did you support that legislation? guest: we need legislation that is going to open up the federal government and it's going to be
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able to open parks permanently, not for short-term, not until december then we go through this again. the local economies, the gateway communities that depend on the national parks, the vacationers, those at weddings were canceled, people need to have certainty and they need our national parks opened and funded for the long term not a short-term solution. host: we are talking with theresa, the acting president of the national parks conservation association. they are advocates for the national park service but not part of the park service. she'll be taking your questions and comments here so you can start dialing in now. jack on twitter says, national park employees are some of the most dutiful and polite and hardworking and loyal people you can find. sara in california, independent caller. you're up first. caller: hi. i'm a long-term member of your association. i started working in the national parks in 1991 when i went back and discovered the
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obs for the concessionaires. and continued for a number of seasons. i love the national parks. i was very concerned about the disrepair at rainier and several of the others, and also concerned about the accessibility for handicapped people. at some point in time i'd actually like to visit the parks and assess the needs for improvement. how would i go about contacting you for something like that? guest: please, go to our website, it's contact information. or you can certainly call in washington, d.c., at our headquarters. what i would recommend is that you contact your member of congress. we really appreciate your membership and support with the national park conservation association. contact your member of congress,
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encourage your friends to do the same. let them know that national parks deserve to be funded. 90% of americans in a recent poll said they believe it's a federal, primary federal responsibility to fund the national parks. to make sure that our monuments, our national resources and cultural resources are taken care of. we expect those as americans because these are our treasures. i would encourage all of you out there that are listening, please contact your members of congress. make sure that they fund our federal government, our national parks for the long term. host: that caller said she's -- part of your association. who belongs to the aseeshation? where do you get your money from? guest: we have over 800,000 members and supporters around the country. so we are nonprofit, nongovernmental. we don't receive government funding. we have many foundations and corporate support, but mainly it's through the incredible members like the one we just heard from. host: columbus ohio, democratic aller.
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one last call. we don't have her, i guess. i want to show viewers this from julie and "the washington post" published on october 2. park service rejects the r.n.c.'s offer to help reopen the world war ii memorial. why was that rejected? guest: i can't speak to every issue because i think, again, the reality is there are 401 national parks and monuments around the country. all of them are very important. and it's very difficult, they have all kinds of security issues, lease, contractual issues, and they have significant now staffing issues with such a skelton crew -- skeleton crew. it's difficult to speak to every specific one. what i would say is ultimately the national park service found a way to be able to open it at least to the veterans that absolutely deserve to be able to visit a site that is honoring their incredible duty and service to the country. host: california, independent caller.
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caller: hi. this is bill in california. i'm a constituent of a congressman who wants to authorize cutting trees, log throughout yosemite national park. i'm quite concerned about that and i'd like to ask your view on that. guest: well, bill, thank you for the call. as you know national parks have some of the highest protection of our public lands in the country. and it's really an outrage when i hear a member of congress or i hear anybody suggest that these very treasures that have been laid down to be protected for all of us, for our grandchildren and future generations, would consider going in and creating havoc and the damage. anybody that has spent a moment in yosemite valley or seen the incredible majesty of that place understands the value and what that does to your soul. to think that somebody would suggest to go in there and do logging and impact that area is just incomprehensible. i would suggest that all of you
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again make sure that you reach out to your representative and let them know how important the national parks are. host: denise in eveningsville, indiana, democratic caller. caller: yes, illing' calling because i wanted to say first of that you said that she wants the government to get back to their jobs and actually have their field that they are supposed to for the long term, not the little bills they are trying to pass. it's really disturbing that the republicans are just trying to pass these small bills for a bigger problem. the problem is their job is to go in there. they are supposed to pass a budget. and then they are supposed to get their job done. i understand that they want to do this obamacare thing, which is really called the affordable care act, and put it in there. that has nothing to do with the budget. i think that the longer they
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these small t pass bandages on this big hole in our economy, it's going to make it worse. more people need to stand up and say, hey, we need to get back in there and do our job, because i know that if i wanted to work and i said to my boss i can't pass the budget that we need for all of our employees, they are going to say we need to get you out of here. so i just appreciate you for what you have said and standing up. i know it can't be that hard to do that. guest: will i say that -- >> we'll leave "washington journal" here to go live to president obama just getting under way. >> i'll try to be brief at the top. this morning i had a chance to speak with speaker boehner and i told him what i have been saying publicly, that i am happy to talk with him and other republicans about anything. not just issues i think are important, but also issues that
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they think are important. but i also told him that having such a conversation, talks, negotiations shouldn't require hanging the threats of a government shutdown or economic chaos over the heads of the mesh people -- american people. think about it this way, the american people do not get to demand a ransom for doing their jobs. you don't get a chance to call your bank and say i'm not going to pay my mortgage this month unless you throw in a new car and an xbox, if your negotiations around buying somebody's house, you don't get to say, well, let's talk about the price i'm going to pay, if you don't give me the price, i'll burn down your house. that's not how negotiations work. that's not how it happens in business. it's not how it happens in private life. in the same way members of congress and the house republicans in particular don't get to demand ransom in exchange for doing their jobs.
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and two of their very basic jobs are passing a budget and making sure that america's paying its bills. they don't also get to say unless you give me what the voters rejected in the last election i'm going to cause a recession. that's not how it works. no american president would deal with a foreign leader like this. most of you would not deal with either a co-worker for business associate in this fashion, and we shouldn't be dealing this way here in washington. i have heard republicans suggest that, well, this is reasonable. this is entirely appropriate. but as i said before, imagine if a democratic congress threatened to crash the global economy unless a republican president agreed to gun background checks or immigration reform. i think it's fair to say that republicans would not think that was appropriate. so let's lift these threats from
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our families and our businesses and let's get down to work. it's not like this is a new position i'm taking here. i had speaker boehner and the other leaders in just last week. either my chief of staff or i have had serious conversations on the budget with republicans more than 20 times since march. we have been talking all kinds of business. what we haven't been able to get are serious positions from the republicans that would allow us to actually resolve some core differences. and they have decided to run out the clock until there is a government shutdown for the possibility of default thinking that it would give them more leverage. hat's not my characterization. they said it themselves. that was their strategy from the start. and that is not how our government is supposed to run.
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it's not this me, by the way, who has taken the position that we are willing to have conversations about anything. senate democrats have asked to sit down with house republicans and hash out a budget, but have been rejected by the house republicans 19 times. at the beginning of this year speaker boehner said what we want is regular order and a serious budget process. so senate should pass a bill and the house should pass a bill and then a committee comes together and they hash out their differences and send the bill to the president. that's what democrats did. except somewhere along the way house republicans decided they wouldn't appoint people to the committee to try to negotiate. and 19 times they rejected that. so even after all that the democrats in the senate still passed a budget that effectively reflects republican priorities.
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at republican budget levels, just to keep the government opened. and the house republicans couldn't do that either. the point is, i think, not only the white house, but also democrats in the senate and democrats in the house have shown more than ample willingness to talk about any issues that the republicans are concerned about. the entiret do it if basis of the republican strategy is, we are going to shut down the government or cause economic chaos if we don't get 100% of what we want. so my suggestion to the speaker, has been, and will continue to be let's stop the excuses, take a vote in the house, let's end this shutdown right now. let's put people back to work. there are enough reasonable republicans and democrats in the house who are willing to vote yes on a budget that the senate has already passed.
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that vote could take place today. shut down would be over. then serious negotiations could proceed around every item in the udget. now, as soon as congress votes to reopen the government, it's also got vote to meet our country's commitments, pay our bills, raise the debt ceiling because as reckless as a government shutdown is, the economic shutdown caused by america defaulting would be dramatically worse. i want to talk about this for a minute because even though people can see and feel the effects of a government shutdown, they are already experiencing it right now, there are still some people out there who don't believe that default is a real thing. we have been hearing that from some republicans in congress that default would not be a big deal. so let me explain this. if congress refuses to raise
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what's called the debt ceiling, america would not be able to meet all of our financial obligations for the first time in 225 years. and because it's called raising the debt ceiling, i think a lot of americans think it's raising our debt. it is not raising our debt. it does not add a dime to our debt. it simply says you pay for what congress has already authorized america to purchase. whether that's the greatest military in the world, or veterans benefits, or social security whatever it is that congress already authorized, what this does is make sure that we can pay those bills. the last time that the tea party republicans flirted with the idea of default, two years ago, markets plunged, business and
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consumer confidence plunged, america's credit rating was downgraded for the first time, and a decision to actually go through with it, to actually permit default, according to many c.e.o.'s, would be, i'm quoting here, insane, catastrophic, chaos. these are some of the more polite words. warren buffett likened default to a nuclear bomb a. weapon too horrible to use. it would disrupt markets. it would undermine the world's confidence in america as the bedrock of the global economy. and it might permanently increase our borrowing costs. which of course ironically would mean that it would be more expensive for us to service what debt we do have and would add to our deficits and debt. not decrease them. there is nothing fiscally responsible about that. preventing this should be simple. as i said, raising the debt ceiling is a lousy name which is
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why members of congress in both parties don't like to vote on it because it makes you vulnerable in political campaigns, but it does not increase our debt. it does not grow our deficits. it does not allow for a single dime of increased spending. all it does is allow the treasury department to pay for what congress has already spent. but as i said, it's always a tough vote. people don't like doing it. although it has been done 45 times since ronald reagan took office. nobody in the past has ever seriously threatened to breach the debt ceiling until the last two years. and this is the creditworthiness of the united states we are talking about. this is our word. this is our good name. this is real. and the government shutdown millions of americans face inconvenience or outright hardship in an economic shutdown , every american could see their
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401-k's and home values fall, borrowing costs for mortgages and student loans rise, and there would be a significant risk of a very deep recession. at a time when we are still climbing our way out of the worst recession in our lifetimes. the american people have already fought too hard and too long to come back from one crisis only to see a handful of more extreme republicans in the house of representatives precipitate another one. the good news is over the past 3 1/2 years our businesses have created 7.5 million new jobs. our housing market is healing. we have cut the deficit in half since i took office. the deficit is coming down faster than any time in the last 50 years. america's poised to become the number one energy producer in the world this year. this year for the first time in a very long time we are producing more oil than we are
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importing. so we got a lot of good things going for us, but the uncertainty caused by just one week of this nonsense so far has caused businesses to reconsider spending and hiring. you have seen consumer confidence plunge to the lowest level since 2008. you have seen mortgages held up by thousands of home buyers who aren't sure about the economic situation out there. and all this adds to our deficits. it doesn't subtract from it. so we can't afford these manufactured crises every few months. as i said, this one isn't even about deficits or spending or budgets. our deficits are falling at the fastest pace in 60 years. the budget that the senate passed is at republican spending levels. it's their budget. the democrats were willing to put votes on to make sure the government was opened while negotiations took place for a longer term budget. and what's happened, the way we got to this point was one thing
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and one thing only, and that was republican obsession with dismantling the affordable care act and denying health care to millions of people. that law ironically is moving forward. most americans, democrats and republicans, agree that health care should not have anything to do with keeping our government opened or paying our bills on time. which is why i will sit down and work with anyone of any party, not only to talk about the budget, i'll talk about ways to improve the health care system. i'll talk about ways we can shrink our long-term deficits. i'll also want to talk about how we are going to help the middle class, strengthen early childhood education, and improve our infrastructure and research and development. there are a whole bunch of things i want to talk about in terms of how we are going to make sure everybody gets a fair shake in this society and our economy is growing in a broad-based way and building our
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middle class. by the way, if anybody doubts my sincerity about that, i put forward proposals in my budget to reform entitlement programs for the long haul and reform our tax code in a way that would close loopholes for the wealthiest and lower rates for corporations and invest in new jobs and reduce our deficits. some of these were originally republican proposals. because i don't believe any party has a monopoly on good ideas. i have shown myself willing to go more than halfway in these conversations. if reasonable republicans want to talk about these things again, i'm ready to head up to the hill and try. i'll even drink for dinner again. but -- spring for dinner again. but i'm not going to do it until the more extreme part of the republican party stops forcing john boehner to issue threats about our economy. we can't make extortion routine
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as part of our democratcy. democracy doesn't function this way. this is not just for me, it's also for my successors in office. whatever party they are from. they shouldn't have to pay a ransom, either, for congress doing its basic job. we got to put a stop to it. the last point i'll make. already this week i had to miss critical meetings in asia to promote american jobs and businesses. and although as long as we get this fixed that's not long-term damage, whenever we do these things, it hurts our credibility around the world. it makes it look like we don't have our act together. that's not something we should welcome. the greatest nation on earth shouldn't have to get permission from a few irresponsible members of congress every couple months to keep our government opened or to prevent an economic catastrophe. so let's pass a budget. let's end this government shutdown. let's pay our bills. let's avert an economic
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shutdown. let's drop the gimmicks, put aside what's good for any particular party, and let's focus on what's good for the american people because they know we have a lot of work to do. with that, let me take a couple of questions and i'll start with julie of a.p. >> thank you, mr. president. obviously if congress does pass a clean c.r., debt ceiling bills, those may be short-term measures. does your offer to negotiate with them on issues like health care and spending and deficit reduction still stand in the intervening week they pass perhaps this week? >> absolutely. what i have said is that i will talk about anything. what will happen is we won't agree on everything. the truth is is is that the parties are pretty divided on a whole big -- bunch of big issues right now. everybody understands that. by the way voters are divided on a lot of those issues, too. and i recognize that there are
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some house members, republican house members, where i got clobbered in the last election. and they don't get politically rewarded a lot for being seen as negotiating with me. and that makes it harder for divided government to come together. but i am willing to work through all those issues. the only thing that our democracy can't afford is a situation where one side says unless i get my way and only my way, unless i get concessions before we even start having a serious give and take, i'll threaten to shut down the government or i will threaten to not pay america's bills. eliminate any
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topic of conversation. and i show miself willing to engage -- myself willing to engage all the parties involved, every leader on any issue. >> that applies no matter how long it is on the bills they pass. >> the only thing will i say is that we are not going to pay a ransom for america paying its bills. that's something that should be nonnegotiable and everybody should agree on that. everybody should say one of the most val ubling things we have -- valuable things we have is america's creditworthiness. this is not something we should even come close to fooling around with. so when i read people saying, this wouldn't be a big deal. let's take default out for a spin and see how it rides. imagine in your private life if you decided that
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i'm not going to pay my mortgage for a month or two. first of all you're not saving your money by not paying your mortgage, you're just a deadbeat. and you can anticipate that will hurt your credit. which means that in addition to debt collectors calling, you're going to have trouble borrowing in the future. if you are able to borrow in the future, you have to borrow at a higher rate. what's true for individuals is also true for nations. even the most powerful nation on earth. and if we are creating a atmosphere in which people are not sure whether or not we pay our bills on time, then that will have a severe long-term impact on our economy. and on america's standard of living. that's not something that we should even be in a conversation about. that is not something that we should be using as leverage.
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ok. juliana. >> thank you, mr. president. the economic consequences of default, but if we were to get to that point, would you prioritize and pay bondholders rather maintain -- than social security recipients or military? how would you go ahead and make that determination? going to continue to be very hopeful that congress does not puts in that position. and i think if people understand what the consequences are, they scenariothat potential aside. i do know that there have been some who said that if we just pay bondholders, we just pay
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people who bought treasury bills, that we really won't be in default because those interest payments will be made and to them what i have to remind them is we have a lot of other obligations not just people who pay treasury bills. we got senior citizens who are counting on their social security check arriving on time. we have veterans who are disabled who are counting on their benefits. we have companies who are doing business for our government and for our military that have payrolls that they have to meet. if they do not get paid on time, they may have to lay off workers. all those folks are potentially affected if we are not able to pay all of our bills on time. what's also true is if the markets are saying that we are not paying -- seeing we are not paying our bills on time, that will affect our creditworthiness even if some people are being paid on time. just to boil this down to
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personal examples, if you got a mortgage, car note, and a student loan that you have to pay. and you say aim going to make sure i pay my mortgage, but not pay my student loan or car note, that's still going to have an impact on your credit. everybody's still going to look at that and say, you know what, i'm not sure this person is that trustworthy. at a minimum presumably they are going to charge a hire interest rate. that's what would happen to you if you made those decisions. the same is true for the federal government. so we are exploring all contingencies. i know the secretary of the treasury will be appearing before congress on thursday and he can address some of the additional details about this. but let me be clear, no option is good in that scenario. there is no silver bullet. there's no magic wand that allow this to wish away the chaos that
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could result if for the first time in our history we don't pay our bills on time. and when i hear people trying to down play the consequences of that, i think that's really irresponsible. and i'm happy to talk to think any of them individually and walk them through exactly why it's irresponsible. it's particularly funny coming from republicans who claim to be champions of business. there's no businessperson out here who doesn't think this wouldn't be a big deal. not one. you go anywhere from wall street to main street and ask a c.e.o. of a company, or ask a small businessperson whether it would be a big deal if the united states government isn't paying its bills on time, they'll tell you it's a big deal. it would hurt. and it's unnecessary. that's the worst part of it. this is not a complicated piece of business. and there's no reason why if in
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fact republicans are serious about wanting to negotiate, wanting to have cafferings, wanting to talk, there is no reason why you have to have that threat looming over the conversations. think about it. the only reason the republicans have held out on negotiations up until the last week or so is because they thought it was a big enough deal that they would force unilateral concessions out of democrats and out of me. they said so. they basically said, you know what, the president's so responsible that if we just hold our breath and say we are going to threaten default, then they'll give us what we want and we won't have to give anything in return. again that's not my account of the situation. you can read statements from republicans over the last several months who said this explicitly. and so for them now to say, it
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wouldn't be a big deal if it happens, that's not how they have been acting over the last couple months. if it's not a big deal, why would i give them concessions now to avoid it? it is a big deal. and nobody should be getting concessions for making sure that the full faith and credit of the united states is retained. when speaker boehner will hold a vote on clean c.r., what assurances can you give with a longer impact? how worried are you personally sequestration levels may do harm to the nation's economy. >> you're making an important point which is what we are asking of the republicans right now is to keep the government opened at funding levels the harmfuls think are very
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to the economy and inadequate to make sure that the economy is growing faster, more people are put back to work, and the middle class is growing. we are willing to pass at least a short-term budget that opens up the government at current funding levels. it doesn't even address the harm that's been done because of sequestration. now, the democrats have a budget at would eliminate sequestration, this meat cleaver approach to deficit reduction, and make sure that we're adequately funding basic medical research and head start programs and v.a. programs, and a whole range of things that have been really hard hit this year. but we recognize that there are going to have to be compromises
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between the democratic position and the republican position, and in the meantime we shouldn't hurt the economy even worse by shutting down the government. so let me just give you an example. very specific i -- specific. because of sequestration, because of the meat cleaver cuts that have taken place over the course of this year, thousands of families have lost head start slots for their children. you have parents across the country who have been scrambling trying to figure out how can i find some decent, quality childcare for my kids. the government shutdown means several thousand more are going . be losing their slots if we vote today or tomorrow or the next day in the house of representatives to go ahead and reopen the government, that leaves those additional several thousand people will be spared the difficulties of trying to scramble and figure out where
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your kid's going to be when you're trying to go to work. but it doesn't solve the broader problems. if we were going to have real negotiations, the democrats would say, let's solve the bigger problem. what about those thousands who have been hurt by sequester? the democrats aren't making that demand right now. we understand there's going to have to be some give and take, but we are saying is don't hurt more people while we are trying to resolve these differences. let's at least make sure that we keep the lights on while we are aving these conversations. >> you talked about the credibility around the world that this impasse has caused. i'm wondering what you and your administration are telling worried creditors, china and japan, calling and asking about whether the united states is going to avoid defaulting on its
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debts. >> i won't disclose any specific conversations, but obviously my message to the world is, the united states always has paid ts bills and will do so again. but i think they are not just looking at what i say, they are looking at what congress does. and that ultimately is up to speaker boehner. this will not get resolved. we are not going to calm creditors until they see speaker boehner call up a bill that reopens the government and authorizes the secretary of the treasury to pay our bills on time. and until they see that, there to be a cloud over economic credibility. but it is not one from which we can't recover. we have been through this before. every country, every democracy in particular, has tussles over
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the budget, and i think most world leaders understand t. they themselves have been through it if they are in a democratcy. what you haven't seen before i think from the vantage point of a lot of world leaders is the notion that one party in congress might blow the whole thing up if they don't get their way. they have never seen that before. and that does make them nervous. particularly given what happened in 2011. keep in mind we have been here before. we saw what happened in 2011. i think the assumption was that the americans must have learned their lesson. that there would be budget conflicts, but nobody would threaten the possibility that we would default. and when they hear members of the senate and members of congress saying maybe default wouldn't be that bad, i'll bet that makes them nervous. it makes me nervous. it should make the american people nervous. because that's irresponsible.
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it is out of touch with reality. it is based on a flawed analysis of how our economy works. you cannot pay some bills and not others and think somehow that the fact that you're paying some bills protects you from a loss of creditworthiness. that's not what happens in our own personal lives. i don't know why people think that's how it works for the nited states government. we have used a lot of our emergency powers. jack lew has used extraordinary measures to keep paying our bills over the last several months. but at a certain point those emergency powers run out and the clock is ticking. i do worry that republicans, but also some democrats, may think that we've got a bunch of other rabbits in our hat.
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there comes a point in which if the treasury cannot hold offers to sell treasury bills, we do not have enough money coming in to pay all our bills on time. it's very straightforward. and i know there's been some discussion, for example, about my powers under the 14th amendment to go ahead and ignore the debt ceiling law, setting aside the legal analysis, what matters is is that if you start having a situation in which here's legal controversy about the u.s. treasury's authority to issue debt, the damage will have been done even if that were constitutional, because people wouldn't be sure. it would be tied up in litigation for a long time. that's going to make people nervous. a lot of the strategies people have talked about, the president can roll out a big coin and --
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or he can resort to some other constitutional measure, what people ignore is that ultimately what matters is what are the people who are buying treasury bills think? again i'll just boil it down in very personal terms. if you're buying a house and you're not sure whether the seller has title to the house, you're going to be pretty nervous about buying it. and at minimum you'd want a much cheaper price to buy that house because you wouldn't be sure whether or not you would own it. most of us would walk away because no matter how much we like the house, we would say to ourselves the last thing i want after i bought it is i don't actually own it. the same thing is true if i'm buying treasury bills from the u.s. government and here i am
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sitting here what if there's a supreme court case deciding that these aren't valid. that these are val i had -- aren't valid legal instruments, obligating the u.s. government to pay me. i'm going to be suppressed. which means i may not purchase it. if i do purchase them i am going to ask for a big premium. so there are no magic bullets here. there's one simple way of doing it and that is congress going ahead and voting. the fact that right now there are votes, i believe, to go ahead and take this drama off the table, should at least be tested. speaker boehner keeps saying he doesn't have the votes for it. what i have said is, put it on the floor. see what happens. and add minimum let every member of congress be on record. let them vote to keep the
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government opened or not. and they can determine where they stand and defend that vote to their constituencies. and let them vote on whether or not america should pay its bills or not. and if in fact some of these folks really believe that it's not that big of a deal, they can vote no. and that will be useful information for voters to have. if it fails and we do end up defaulting, i think voters should know exactly who voted not to pay our bills. so that they can be responsible for the consequences that come with it. harry. >> you mentioned the supreme court, the term started today with the campaign finance case. you call citizens united devastating to the public interest. i wonder if you could weigh in. >> the case would go any further than citizens united. essentially it would say anything goes.
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there are no rules in terms of how to finance campaigns. there aren't a lot of functioning democracies around the world that work this way ere you can basically have millionaires and billionaires bank rolling whoever they want, however they want, in some cases undisclosed, and what it means is ordinary americans are shut out of the process. and democrats aren't entirely innocent of this in the past. and i had to raise a lot of money for my campaign. so i -- there's nobody who operates in politics that has perfectly clean hands on this issue. but what is also true is that all of us should bind ourselves to some rules that say the people who vote for us should be more important than somebody who is spending a million or 10
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million or $100 million to get elected. we don't know what their agendas are, their interests are. and i continue to believe that citizens united contributed to some of the problems we are having in washington right now. you have some ideological extremists who have a big bankroll and they can entirely skew our politics. and there are a whole bunch of members of congress right now who privately will tell you, i know our positions are unreasonable, but we are scared that if we don't go along with the tea party agenda or some particularly extremist agenda, that they'll be challenged from the right. and the threats are very explicit. so they toe the line. that's part of why we have seen a break down of just normal routine business done here in washington on behalf of the american people. and all of you know it.
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i'm not telling you anything you don't know because it's very explicit. you report on it. big chunk of the republican party right now are in gerrymandered districts where there is no competition and hose folks are much more worried about a tea party challenger than they are about a general election where they have to compete against a democrat or go after independent votes. in that environment it's a lot harder for them to compromise. >> thank you, mr. president. this week the president of china has visited several of the asian countries you were going to visit and had to skip because of the shutdown. he's also taken a big role at a summit both of which your administration has made a pretty big priority of as part of the
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broader asian -- does china benefit from the chaos in washington? then more broadly, you said in general that this hurts the reputation of the united states overseas. are there specific things that you can point to where you already have seen some damage? and one that occurs to me is the trade deal you tried to do in asia. the leaders today announced they still want to wrap it up but they no longer are able to say they want to wrap it up by the end of this year. had you been there do you think could you have gotten that additional push? >> i think that's a great example. we don't know, but it didn't help that i wasn't there. to make sure that we went ahead and closed a trade deal that would open up markets and create jobs for the united states and make sure that countries were trading fairly with us in the most dynamic, fastest growing market in the world.
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i should have been there 8 -- been there. i can tell you because hi to apologize to some of the host countries that they understood that the most important thing i could do for them and the most important thing i can do for the bilateral relationship and america's reputation is making sure we reopen our government and don't default. i don't think it's going to do lasting damage. as i said if we deal with this folks we should, then around the world won't attribute this to the usual messy process of american democracy. but it doesn't do lasting damage. in the short term i would characterize it as missed opportunities. we continue to be the one indispensable nation. there are countries across asia who have welcomed our pivot
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because they want to do business with us. they admire our economy. they admire our entrepreneurs. they know that their growth is going to be contingent on working with us. they care about the secure environment that we maintain, help maintain, and the freedom of navigation and commerce that is so important to them. it's not as if they have other places to go. they want us to be there and they want to work with us. but 234 each -- in each of these big meetings that we have around the world, a lot of business gets done. in the same way that a c.e.o. of a company if they want to close a deal aren't going to do it by phone. they want to show up and look at is eye to eye and tell them why it's important and shake hands on a deal. the same thing is true with
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respect to world leaders. and the irony is our teams probably do more to organize a lot of these multilateral forums and set the agenda than anybody. we end up being engaged much more than china, for example, in setting the agenda and moving this stuff forward. showing st like me not up at my own party. it creates a sense of concern on the part of other leaders, but as long as we get through this, they'll understand it. elwe'll be able to -- we'll be able to, i believe, get these deals done. the last point i'd make, though, is we can't do it every three months. back in the 1990's we had a government shutdown. that happened one time. then after that the republican party and mr. gingrich realized this isn't a sensible way to do
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business. we shouldn't engage in brinksmanship like this, and then they started having a serious conversation with president clinton about a whole range of issues and they got some things that they wanted. they had to give the democrats some things that the democrats wanted. a sense of normal democratic process. so here we already went through this once back in 2011. and at the end of last year, right after my election, we went through something similar with the so-called fiscal cliff. where republicans wouldn't negotiate about taxes despite the fact that taxes actually went up anyway even though they refused to negotiate. they could actually have gotten some things from us that they wanted if they had been willing to engage in normal negotiations.
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so we got to stop repeating this pattern. i know the american people are tired of it. and to alt american people, i apologize that you have to go through this stuff every three months it seems like. and lord knows i'm tired of it. but at some point we've got to ind of break these habits. and get back to the point where everybody understands that in negotiations there is give and there is take. and you do not hold people hostage or engage in ransom taking to get 100% of your way. and you don't suggest that somehow a health care bill that you don't agree with is destroying the republic. or is a grabbed socialist scheme. if you disagree with certain aspects of it, tell us what you disagree with and work on it.
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if you're concerned about long-term debt, that's a good thing to be concerned about. don't pretend as if america's going bankrupt at a time when the deficit's been cut in half. that's what the american people expect is just civility, common sense, give and take, compromise. those aren't dirty words. there's nothing wrong with them. and i think the american people understand i may -- not i may, i have flaws. michelle will tell you. one of them is not that i'm unwilling to compromise. i have been willing to compromise my entire political career. and i don't believe that i have the answers to everything. and it's my way or the high way. but i'm not going to breach a
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basic principle that would weaken the presidency, change our democracy, and do great damage to ordinary people just in order to go along with what the house republicans are talking about. >> specifically about china and i'm wondering to what extent -- >> i'm sure the chinese don't mind that i'm not there right now. in the sense that there are areas where we have differences and they can present their point f view and not get as much pushback as if i were there. although secretary of state kerry is there and aim sure he's doing a great job. but i have also said that our cooperation with china's not a zero sum game. there are a lot of areas where the chinese and us agree. on trade in particular, though, here's an area where part of
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what we are trying to do is ise standards for example, intellectual property protection, which sometimes is a big problem in china. if we can get a trade deal with all the other countries in asia that says you got to protect people's intellectual property, that will help us in our negotiation was china. richard mcgregor. >> going back to the -- [inaudible] >> no. >> what are your legal abilities -- [inaudible] >> you know what i'm going to do is i'm going to let jack lew, the secretary of the treasury, make a formal presentation on thursday before the senate committee. because this is obviously sensitive enough and i think people would be paying close enough attention that details
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count. and i think prepared remarks from secretary lew on that topic would probably be more appropriate. but as i indicated before, we planned for every contingency. so obviously, worse case scenario, there are things that we will try to do. but i will repeat, i don't think ny option is good. stephen dennis. >> mr. president. i was wondering if you could talk about budget process. in the past, you've negotiated, along with the debt ceiling, with blue dogs, for instance, in 2009-2010. along with a debt ceiling increase then. pay as you go reform. you named a fiscal commission. the republicans today are talking about what may be another committee that would work out our differences over the next few weeks. is that something that you could talk about on the side, something that wouldn't necessarily be a concession, but
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something that would be a format for getting a deal done? stephen. the thing, i know that speaker boehner has talked about setting up some new process or some new supercommittee or what have you. the leaders up in congress, they can work through whatever processes they want. but the bottom line is either you're having good faith negotiations in which there's good give and take or you're not. now, there is already a process in place called the budget committees that could come together right now, democrats have been asking for 19 months to bring them together, make a determination, how much should the government be spending next year, the appropriations committees could go through the list and here's how much we're
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going to be spending for defense and here's how much we're going to be spending for education. that's a process that's worked reasonably well for the last 50 years. i don't know that we need to set up a new committee for a process like that to move forward. what has changed or what seems to be motivating the idea we have to have a new process is speaker boehner or at least some faction of the republicans in the house and maybe some in the a te are holding out for negotiation in theory but in fact basically democrats give a lot of concessions to republicans, republicans don't give anything, and then that's dubbed as compromise and the reason that democrats have to give is because they're worried that the government's going to stay shut down or the u.s. government's going to default. and, again, that -- you can dress it up any way you want. if that's the theory that the
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republicans are going forward with, then it's not going to work. so let me just give you one specific example. i've heard at least, and i can't confirm this, that one of the ideas of this new committee is you could talk about reductions in discretionary spending, you could talk about entitlement reform and reductions in mandatory spending, you could talk about how long you'd extend the debt ceiling but you can't talk about closing corporate loopholes that aren't benefiting ordinary folks economically. and potentially if you closed them would allow us to pay for things like better education for kids. well, i don't know why democrats right now would agree to a format that takes off the table all the things they care about and is confined to the things the republicans care about. so, again, i don't know that
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that's exactly what's being proposed. my simple point is this. i think democrats in the senate and the house are prepared to talk about anything. i'm prepared to talk about anything. they can design whatever format they want. what is not fair and will not esult in an actual deal is ransom taking. or hostage taking. and the expectations that democrats are paying ransom or providing concessions for the mere act of reopening the government or paying our bills. those are not things that you do for me and they're not things that you do for the democrats. >> is there room here where it's not necessarily a concession, where it is you negotiate what the negotiations are going to look like you? don't have to agree to overturn obamacare, but you can actually
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negotiate what the talks are going to look like, so everybody's comfortable. and you know, you mentioned yourself, this is a tough vote for all these house republicans. you're asking them to take a very tough vote for the debt ceiling. usually people in both parties want to have some cover, something that they can point to and say, hey, i want some budget process reform before i approve another $1 trillion in debt. >> which is fine. and so if they want to do that, reopen the government, extend the debt ceiling, if they can't do it for a long time, do it for the period of time in which these negotiations are taking place. why is it that we've got hundreds of thousands of people who aren't working right now in order for what you just described to occur? that doesn't make any sense. the small business administration gives out $1 billion worth of loans every month. to small businesses all across the country. that's not happening right now. so there are small businesses in every state that are counting on a loan to get their business
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going and you've got the party of small business saying small business administration can't do it. that's what they call themselves. and yet they're suffering. you've got farmers who are waiting for loans right now, those loans cannot be processed. the republican party says they're the party that looks out for farmers. i happen to disagree. i think farmers have done real good under my administration. but having said that, why would you keep the government shut down and those farmers not getting their loans while we're having the discussions that you just talked about? the republicans say they're very concerned about drilling. they say obama's been restricting oil production, despite the fact that oil production is at its highest levels it's been in years and is continuing to zoom up. but they say, you know, the democrats are holding back oil production in this country. you know, one of the things that happens when the government's
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shut down is new drilling permits aren't processed. so why would the republicans say to the folks who are interested in drilling for oil, sorry, we can't let those things be processed until we have some negotiations and we have some cover to do what we're supposed to be doing anyway? that doesn't make sense. if there's a way to solve this, it has to include reopening the government and saying america's not going to default, it's going to pay our bills. making -- they can attach some process to that that gives them some certainty that in fact things they're concerned about will be topics of negotiation. if my word's not good enough -- but i told them i'm happy to talk about it -- but if they want to specify all the items that they think need to be a topic of conversation, happy to do it.
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if they want to say we're going to go through line-by-line all the aspects of the president's health care plan that we don't like and we want the president to answer for those things, i'm happy to sit down with them for as many hours as they want. i won't let them gut a law that is going to make sure tens of millions of people actually get health care. ut i'm happy to talk about it. stephen cohen. i'm just going through my list here. are we going to see u.s. military operations all around the continent, how does that square with your contingent that america cannot be at war forever? >> if you look at the speech i gave at the national defense ollege several months ago, i
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utlined how i saw the shift in terrorism around the world and what we have to do to responds to it. and part of what i said is that we had decimated core al qaeda that had been operating primarily between afghanistan and pakistan, but you now had these regional groups, some of which are explicitly tied to al qaeda or that ideology, some of which are more localized. few of them have the ability to project beyond their borders, but they can do a lot of damage inside their borders. and africa is one of the places where, because in some cases a lack of capacity on the part of the governments, in some cases because it is easier for folks to hide out, in vast terrains that are sparsely populated, that you're seeing some of these groups gather.
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and we're going to have to continue to go after them. but there's a difference between us going after terrorists who are plotting directly to do damage to the united states and us being involved in wars. the risks of terrorism and terrorist networks are going to continue for some time to come. we've got to have a long-term plan that is not just military-based. we've got to engage in a war of ideas in the region and engage with muslim c.r.s -- countries and try to isolate radical elements that are doing more damage to muslims than they're doing to anybody else. we've got to think about economic development, because although there's not a direct correlation between terrorism and the economy, there's no doubt that if you've got a lot of unemployed, uneducated young men in societies, that there's a greater likelihood that terrorists recruits are
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available. but where you've got active plots and active networks, we're going to go after them. we prefer partnering with countries where this has taken place, wherever we, can and we want to build up their capacity. but we're not going to farm out our defense and i have to say by the way, the operations that took place both in libya and somalia were examples of the extraordinary skill and dedication and talent of our men and women in armed forces. they do their jobs extremely well. with great precision, and great risk to themselves. and i think they're pretty good examples for how those of us here in washington should operate as well. >> did the capture of mr. libby comply with international law? we know that he helped plan
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and execute plots that killed hundreds of people. a whole lot of americans. and we have strong evidence of that. and he will be brought to justice. >> mr. president, while you're waiting for the shutdown to end, why is it that you can't go along with any of the bills the house is passing, funding the f.d.a. and fema, where you were yesterday, and veterans benefits and head start. you've got to be tempted to get funding to those programs that you support. >> of course i'm tempted. because you'd like to think that you could solve at least some of the problems if you couldn't solve all of it. but here's the problem. what you've seen are bills that come up where wherever republicans are feeling political pressure, they put a bill forward.
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and if there's no political heat, if there's no television story on it, then nothing happens. and if we do some sort of shotgun approach like that, then you'll have some programs that are highly visible get funded and reopened, like national monuments, but things that don't get a lot of attention, like those s.b.a. loans, not being funded. and we don't get to select which programs we implement or not. there are a whole bunch of things that the republicans have said are law that we have to do. and i don't get a chance to go back and say, you know what, this commaimy idea that this republican congressman came up with i really don't like so let's not implement that. once you have a budget and a government with a set of functions, you make sure that
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it's all operating. we don't get to pick and choose based on which party likes what. that's where the budget discussions take place. now, if there's some things that the republicans don't like, they should argue for eliminating those programs in the budget, come with an agreement with the democrats, maybe the democrats will agree, and those things won't be funded. but you don't do a piecemeal approach like that when you're dealing with a government shutdown. ok? >> on the military death gratuity -- [inaudible] >> i'm going to take one more question. >> mr. president -- >> your persistence has worked. >> mr. president, you talked about the political dynamics that leaves house republicans feeling that they don't want to negotiate with you, they don't want to come to you. i wanted to ask you two things about that. look back at the 2011 default discussions and the budget drama, is there anything that you wish that you had done
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differently in 2011? and after this, what cau you call this nonsense ended, what do you expect the political dynamics might -- how might they have changed to move forward? >> i think that's an interesting question. into i entered good-faith negotiations with john boehner. he had just won the speakership. it was at a time when because we were still responding to the recession deficits were high, people were concerned about it and i thought it was my obligation to meet him halfway. and so we had a whole series of talks and at that point at least body had any belief that people would come close to potential default. i don't regret having entered into those negotiations and we
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came fairly close. whenever i see john boehner to this day i still say, should have taken the deal that i offered you back then. which would have dealt with our long-term deficit problems, would not have impeded growth as much, would have really boosted confidence. but at that time i think house republicans had just taken over, they were feeling their oaths and thinking, you know, we don't have to compromise. and we came pretty close to default. and we saw the impact of that. i would have thought that they would have learned the lesson from that as i did. which is we can't put the american people and our economy through that ringer again. so, that's the reason why i've been very clear. we're not going to negotiate around the debt ceiling. that has to be dealt with. in a reasonable fashion. and by the way, you know, i often hear people say, well, in
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the past it's been dealt with all the time. the truth of the matter is, if you look at the history, people posture about the debt ceiling frequently but the way the debt ceiling often got passed was you'd stick the debt ceiling onto a budget negotiation and once it was completed, because people figured, well, i don't want to take a bunch of tough votes to cut programs or raise taxes, and then also have to take a debt ceiling vote. let me do it all at once. but it wasn't a situation in which, you know, what if i don't get what i want, then i'm going to let us default. that's what's changed. and that's what we learned in 2011. and so as a consequence i said, we're not going to do that again. not just for me, but because future presidents, republican or democrat, should not be in a position where they have to choose between making sure the economy stays afloat and we avoid worldwide catastrophe, or we provide concessions to one faction of one party in one
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house. but let me tell you a lesson i did not learn. i did not learn a lesson that we shouldn't compromise. i still think we should. i still think there are all kinds of issues that we should be talking about and i don't expect to get 100% of my way. and i'm still very open to having conversations with not just the speaker but any republican over there. go ahead. >> if you enter into a series of short-term funding bills or a debt ceiling bill, you will be back in the same place, presumably, with these members. what has changed in the political dynamic if you do the short-term -- >> i think what has changed is they're aware of the fact that i'm not budging when it comes to the full faith and credit of the united states. that that has to be dealt with, that you don't pay a ransom, you don't provide concessions for
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congress doing its job and america paying its bills. and i think most people understand that. i was at a small business the other day and talking to a bunch of workers and i said, you know, when you're at the plant and you're in the middle of your job, do you ever say to your boss, you know what, unless i get a raise right now and more vacation pay, i'm going to just shut down the plant. i'm not just going to walk off the job, i'm going to break the equipment. i said, how do you think that would go? they all thought they'd be fired. i think most of us think that. there's nothing wrong with asking for a raise or asking for more time off. but you can't burn down the plant or your office if you don't get your way. well, the same thing is true here and i think most americans understand that. all right? thank you very much, everybody.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] fro rules for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. caller: report to accompany house resolution 373, resolution providing for consideration of the j resolution house joint resolution 89, making appropriations for the salaries and related expenses of sernl certain federal employees and a lasting funding authority for fiscal year 2014 and for other purposes. providing for consideration of the bill 3273, to establish a bicameral working group on deficit reduction and economic growth and providing for consideration of the joint resolution. house joint resolution 90, making continuing appropriations for the federal aviation administration for fiscal year 2014 and for other
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purposes. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. sessions: mr. speaker, by the direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 373 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 373, resolved, that upon adoption of this resolution, it shall be in order to consider in the house the joint resolution, house joint resolution 89, making appropriations for the salaries and related expenses of certain federal employees during a last funding authority for fiscal year 2014 and for other purposes. all points of order against consideration of the joint resolution are waived. the joint resolution shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the joint resolution are waived. the previous question shall be considered on the joint resolution and any amendment
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without intervening motion except one, 40 minutes of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on appropriations and, two, one motion to recommit. section 2, upon adoption of this resolution, it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill, h.r. 3273, to establish a bicameral working group on deficit reduction and economic growth. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. the bill shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and on any amendment thereto to final passage without intervening motion except, one, 40 minutes of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on rules and, two, one motion to recommit. section 3, a, in the engrossment of h.j.res. 89, the clerk shall, one, add the text
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of h.r. 3273 as passed by the house as new matter at the end of house joint resolution 89. two, conform the title of house joint resolution 89 to reflect the addition of the text of h.r. 3273 as passed by the house to the engrossment. three, assign appropriate designations to provisions within the engrossment and, four, conform cross-references and provisions with short titles within the engrossment. b, upon the addition of the text of h.r. 3273, if passed by the house, to the engrossment of house joint resolution 89, h.r. 3273 shall be laid upon the table. section 4, upon adoption of this resolution, it shall be in order to consider in the house the joint resolution, house joint resolution 90, making continuing appropriations for the federal aviation administration for fiscal year 2014 and for other purposes. all points of order against
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consideration of the joint resolution are waived. the joint resolution shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the joint resolution are waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the joint resolution and on any amendment thereto to final passage without intervening motion except, one, 40 minutes of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on appropriations and, two, one motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas, mr. sessions, is recognized for one hour. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much for the purposes of debate only, i yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman, my colleague from worcester, massachusetts, my friend, mr. mcgovern, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for as much time as he wishes to consume. mr. sessions: during consideration of this resolution, all time is yielded for purposes of debate only. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks . the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered.
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mr. sessions: house resolution 373 provides for closed rule consideration of h.r. 3273, the deficit reduction and economic growth working group act of 2013. h.j.res. 89, the federal worker pay fairness act of 2013. and h.j.res. 90, the flight safety act of 2013. mr. speaker, today this body will consider three important pieces of legislation designed to address the current government shutdown and the looming debt limit. the first of these three bills would pay essential federal employees who have been continuing to work during the shutdown. these men and women have earned their paychecks and deserve for us to act on legislation to nsure they are paid on time. secondly, we will consider legislation to fully fund the faumplet in order to ensure -- f.a.a. in order to ensure that
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our nation's commerce and air travel continue uninterrupted and safely. there are many, many workers of the f.a.a. who need to come back to work to ensure the safety and to ensure that millions of american passengers in the air are not put at risk due to a continued government shutdown. finally, we will consider legislation to establish a bicameral, bipartisan working group on deficit reduction and economic growth. this working group would consist of 10 members of the house and 10 members of the senate representing six by the majority and the four from the minority of each chamber. these members would be appointed no less than one day after enactment of this legislation and would each meet subsequent -- on the subsequent calendar day until an agreement is reached on the overall discretionary levels for fiscal year 014, changes to the discretionary debt limit and
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reforms to direct spending programs. for nearly a month now, mr. speaker, house republicans have asked the senate majority leader, harry reid, and senate democrats to sit down and to negotiate with house republicans. bill after bill from house republicans and this body have gone to the united states senate only to be batted down or to be revised to come back without addressing the significant problems that our country faces today. so what we're trying to do is to find another avenue, and that is to have the house of representatives and the united states senate to be able to meet together in a working group to resolve these issues. what do i envision? i envision a tv would be in the room, the american people could be part of these discussions and see how much progress can be made between the house senate republicans and senate democrats and the house
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republicans and house democrats all these important issues. and to hold those members accountable for exactly the same thing that we're trying to do and that is to get this government back open up with an agreement about how we're going to fund this government. so today we ask once again if the senate is willing to not only join us as we work towards ending this government shutdown but how we're going to address this government's debt and put our nation back to work on the pathway to prosperity. so i urge my colleagues to vote yes on the rule and yes on the underlying legislation. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves his time. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank my friend from texas, mr. sessions, for granting me the customary 30 minutes, and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for as much time as he wishes to use. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, my republican friends are
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deinvolving into self-parity -- devolving into self-parity. this is simple and hasn't changed for months. step one, pass a clean short-term continuing resolution at republican sequester levels to reopen the government. two step, to pass a clean debt ceiling bill so the united states will not default for the first time in history and so we don't send the economy into a tail spin. step three, agree, finally agree to go to conference on the budget so we can sit down and talk about our priorities. now, let me go over that once more just in case there's any confusion on the other side of the aisle. reopen the government, raise the debt ceiling and negotiate n the budget. that's what we've been asking for over and over and over again. that's what we're asking for today. and it's what we will ask for tomorrow. by contrast, the list of house republican demands changes every
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10 minutes. repeal obamacare, defund obamacare, delay obamacare, stage a nonfilibuster filibuster, ask for the entire rahmny economic platform in order to raise the debt ceiling, yell at park rangers, fund this part of the government, fund that part of the government, pay for a load of employees, pay essential employees, hold a conference meeting, hold a press conference, rinse and repeat. enough, mr. speaker. enough. so here we are again with yet another convoluted legislative effort that is going absolutely nowhere. yet another quote message bill that is designed to win today's news cycle but that gets us no closer to resolving this crisis. today's effort is particularly pathetic, mr. speaker. instead of actually solving the problem and letting the american people get on with their lives, the bill before us today would create that most cherished and beloved washington institution, a
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committee. but not just any committee, no. another supercommittee. it's supercommittee 2, the wrath of cruz. we have before us a bill that was dreamed up lord knows when, floated in the press at 10:00 this morning, distributed as legislative language at 11:30 this morning, and the rules committee at 12:to 30 and on the floor at -- 12:30 and on the floor at 3:20. forget the three-day rule, mr. speaker. this contraption barely even followed the three-hour rule. and the super-dupercommittee part 2 that is created by this bill doesn't come with any instructions. there's no timeline, there is no deadline. it doesn't reopen the government. it doesn't prevent a default. it doesn't do much of anything. so it's unclear where the coffee and pastries will be provided at the super-duper committee part 2.
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maybe we need another bill to do that. this is just another press release. mr. speaker, we do not need another committee to do the job that we were elected to do and let me remind my colleagues, we have this thing called the budget committee. and the republicans made a big deal with the -- deal about the fact that we passed a budget in the house and the senate didn't pass a budget in the senate. well, then the senate did pass a budget. and what you're supposed to do is then go to conference and work out your differences and come up with a final product. for six months, for six months we have been pleading with the speaker of the house and the republican leadership to appoint conferees to negotiate a budget agreement. to negotiate a budget agreement. that's the way it's supposed to work. the senate does something, we do something, we negotiate the differences. for six months the republicans have refused to appoint conferees and now they're saying we need to this kind of vague committee that has no instructions and no time line. it doesn't do anything to stop a government shutdown, it doesn't do anything to stop the government default on our
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financial obligations. this is no way to run a railroad, let alone the united states house of representatives. so i'd urge the republican leadership to start caring a little less about winning today's news cycle and a little more about the american people who sent us here and who expect us to do our jobs. open the government. raise the debt ceiling. negotiate on the budget. it is really not that complicated. in the meantime, i would urge all of my colleagues to reject this closed rule, reject the underlying legislation and reject the politics of manufactured crisis. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much. you know, hot off the press at this afternoon, from "politico," which is not exactly a right-wing newspaper, says, obama, meaning president boehner, ma calls reiterates he won't negotiate.
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so, the president evidently today, as reported by "politico," called mr. boehner to repeat, i'm not going to negotiate on bills to reopen the government and -- or to raise the debt ceiling. that's what's being reported. mr. speaker, this is i think a bad precedent. you know, where i'm from, in dallas, texas, leaders lead. leaders lead by trying to do what's in the best interests of everybody, not run into crisis after crisis after crisis, not negotiate, not agree to meet with people, not agree to do things to help a resolution. leaders present ideas, opportunities, options. they're the ones that stay at the table, they're the last ones to leave. when everybody else gets frustrated. and i think what's important to note is this president is simply different than every other president we've ever had. and what he is doing is giving
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up not only his legitimate moral authority to lead, but what he's doing is saying, i recognize what could happen if this -- if we're unsuccessful and i think, as speaker boehner said yesterday, the president's senior advisors said -- said he would sooner see the government go into default than to meet with and negotiate with the republicans. that is not what leaders should be doing and i would suggest to you that this president stands on the shoulders of other presidents for 230-plus years who have given their very best to the benefit of others. they have looked at republicans, they have looked at democrats, they have looked at house members, they've looked at senate members and realized they had to negotiate. that was one of the key things i remember as a young man about ronald reagan negotiating with
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tip o'neill. inviting tip o'neill down to the white house, then being good with each other. talking about how they could make progress with each other. well, we're evidently past that. this president even calls the speaker, the audacity to call the speaker and says, i'm not going to negotiate with you. that is not good leadership. and the american people are seeing that. so, the house of representatives, we're not going to get our nose out of joint. we're going to stay and work and it is true. we bring this bill up and we'll probably be here tomorrow and the next day with new ways to negotiate. today we're here on the floor just as we were yesterday, just as we were on saturday, talking about constructive, creative, bipartisan issues to fund this government and to make sure we can get moving. the n.i.h. should have been open already. we should have had lots of government agencies as a result
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what have we were doing. including the head start. we should have these activities, even if it's one by one, to open up. and today we're on the floor to say we ought to pay those government employees who have been working when tuesday rolls around and they should get paid. we should have people at the f.a.a. come back to work and open that agency back up. that's what house republicans are doing. we recognize this president will not negotiate. but we're going to offer ourself up. i think the american people see what house republicans are attempting to do. i'm very proud of not only what our speaker's doing but our majority leader eric cantor and our whip kevin mccarthy. they are attempting to move forward ideas that will sustain not only this body to where we look people straight in the eye but where we can accomplish things on behalf of the american people. i reserve the balance of my
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time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves his time. the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern. mr. mcgovern: thank you, mr. speaker. we're in this predicament because the republicans shut the government down. it is that simple. you own this shutdown, whether you like it or not. and the gentleman quoted "politico." let me read from "politico." it says, president barack obama opened the door to a short-term debt ceiling increase in order to avoid going over the fiscal cliff and allow negotiations between the white house and congress on a long-term deal that. doesn't sound like someone who doesn't want to negotiate. i'd prefer a long-term deal. because i'm tired of this cly sis by crisis by crisis. but this president has gone out of his way to negotiate over and over and over again. i'd point out another thing. senate majority leader harry reid and speaker boehner negotiated a deal on the short-term continuing resolution to keep the government going. speaker boehner admitted that on this "this week." they negotiated a short-term spending deal to keep the government open.
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at the republican sequester levels. and the deal was that in return for the republican numbers, the speaker wouldn't -- attach any extraneous materials to that short-term continuing resolution. obviously that is a deal that the speaker did not keep. in large part because of a group in his conference who kind of represent i guess the ted cruz wing of the party who said that wasn't enough. they wanted to shut the government down. and they're willing to default on paying our bills. for the first time in history, for the first time in history. that is, in my opinion, unconscionable. so let's not talk about who wants to negotiate here. democrats have negotiated on -- going to your level on the short-term continuing resolution. the president has been willing to negotiate time and time again. every time he gets close to an agreement the speaker can't deliver. so, i mean, he's going to continue to try but don't say
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he's not trying to negotiate. at this time i'd like to yield five minutes to the gentlewoman from new york, the distinguished ranking member of the committee on rules, ms. slaughter. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady will suspend. members are advised to address all comments to the chair and not to others in the secretary person. the gentlelady from new york is recognized for five minutes. ms. slaughter: thank you, mr. speaker. and i certainly thank my friend for yielding me this time. it's really getting more and more difficult for us to get out here and act as though we're really having serious debate about something and i want to just start off by saying that i don't want anybody in the country to forget, if they're trying to do things with the federal government, it's shut down. as the v.a. service centers did, their phones are now inoperative. and as we've all learned to our great dismay, the deceased soldiers, their families have not been able to be compensated in any way to make it possible for them to pay for funerals or even go to them. i'm sure that will be partially something we're going to come up and deal with as we're doing
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with this part-time, let's build ourselves a new government. don't forget, this was about health care. that's all there is to it. service people can't get the benefits that they need, nobody can get anything from the government, mortgages are on hold, because republicans didn't like health care. now, if you would ask them, why in the world would you object to 30 million americans who have not been able to afford health insurance having an opportunity to get it, they don't give you any answer. if we talk about negotiations, let me tell you the negotiate that's really critical that's not taking place at all. we're doing an example of that right now. there's no negotiation in the committee process. the only committees that have been putting anything up to the floor of the house have been the rules committee. somebody writes a bill in the afternoon and that evening or early the next day the rules committee goes in and goes right to the floor. there is no amendment chance,
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there's no discussion chance. we don't know what they're doing. the discussion and the amendments and the negotiation, yes. that's supposed to go on between the two parties, in the committees is nowhere to be seen and hasn't been for ages. now, we've been doing this -- down this road before again with the supercommittee idea which was such a glaring disaster and only ended up in sequestration and the whole idea of sequestration was so awful that none of us ever thought we'd get there but now we are pretending that that's what it is. and let's have another supercommittee. i will tell you, that was so awful and it set us back so much in this country. on not only scientific research and national security, public safety being compromised, but now they want to do it again. i think it's just another delaying tactic because i'm persuaded today, as i stand here, that the republican party in this house does not want to open the government. the opportunities they've had over and over again have been
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absolutely quashed. there's a lot of talk, there's a lot of talk in the media, about, oh, if i only had a chance to vote for a clear resolution i would do it in just a moment. well, let me tell you it's been turned down twice before on the house of representatives, on the rules, when we got to the part about the previous question. we always said just vote no and you will then have your opportunity to vote on the clean bill, from the senate, which already passed there, it would go directly to the president. we never got a single republican vote. draw your own conclusions about the 25 republicans who said that, oh, if only they were given that opportunity. now, the sequestration, as my colleague has pointed out, we accepted that as part of a deal on our behalf between speaker boehner and senator reid.
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as awful as it is, and most of us did not like that, nonetheless for the short-term c.r. we were willing to take it. but now the majority again refuses to let us vote on a c.r. which was agreed on. this irresponsible governance has continued in the days since the majority shut the government down. and over this last week, the last several weeks, actually, the majority has abandoned any semblance of regular order and just turned the rules committee as i said into the committee of jurisdiction. now, where's all this come from? i think most americans were surprised, i know, let me express my concern, even though i recall that just after senator obama was elected president in 2008 that we all heard about the great dinner that took place on inaugural night, among republicans and elected officials, that they would not allow senator obama, now president obama, to get anything done.
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well, we thought after four years that would be over with and we did get the health care passed. now, we learn on sunday morning that is taking place again. which, again, says, you know, i'm not sure that this party could shut -- put the government back into business or not. because they would have to get the permission, apparently, from the heritage foundation action for america, from former they ey general meese and engineered this whole thing. that appeared on sunday. this is tuesday. not a single -- may i have an additional 30 seconds? mr. mcgovern: i yield the gentlelady an additional one minute. ms. slaughter: it's time for this game to come to an end but it won't. i'm really tired on behalf of the american people being fooled, and i think we are more than disgusted and tired with the process by which this legislation comes to us, and
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the four of us on the rules committee are calling for you to open up this process so that the other members of our party, as well as yours, i'm confident know nothing more about these bills than you do, have an opportunity to really do our jobs as we were sent here to do. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much. i appreciate the comments of the gentlewoman, the ranking member of the committee. we had just before we came down the floor had a very, very nice committee meeting where she was able to not only articulate but joined by her other colleagues, and i did offer words of assurance to them about not only how we need to move forward but also how the committee needed to get slightly better in our time frames and we're going to attempt to do that. and the gentlewoman recognizes that what we're doing is bringing bills as quickly as we can, including the f.a.a., opening up the f.a.a. again and
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how important that is and so she recognized the importance of what we're attempting to do. mr. speaker, at this time i yield three minutes to the gentleman from south carolina, the gentleman from the budget committee, mr. rice. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for three minutes. mr. rice: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. president, can we talk? the government is partially shut down. the nation's debt ceiling is looming. president obama and harry reid have drawn a hard line. they proclaim over and over, no negotiation. they insist the debt limit must be raised at current levels of spending. no negotiation. they are adamant that the status quo must be preserved, and why not? well, here's the status quo. 7.3% unemployment four years after the recession's ended. 15% unemployment for those under 25.
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50% of recent college graduates unemployed or underemployed. household income down 10% in the last five years. it's fallen every year since the president's been in office, and it continues to decline. continued economic stagnation four years after the recession's ended. continued record deficit spending. social security and medicare on a path to insolvency. why would the republicans want to discuss these fundamental problems? why would we want to alter that course? by any measure, the president -- the president's policies are failing miserablely. he's failing our seniors -- miserably. he's failing our seniors. social security, medicare are heading for bankruptcy, but he won't negotiate.
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he's failing our middle class through higher taxes, higher energy costs, higher insurance bills on one hand and on the other hand continued decline in household income. they're getting squeezed from both sides, but he won't negotiate. he's failing our youth, the millennial generation, by piling mountains of debt on our children and our grandchildren. but he won't negotiate. he's failing our youth and millennial generation through his job-killing policies of more regulation, more taxes and more government. mr. president, our youth want to work, and they're counting on us, but the president won't negotiate. remember, my friends, the democrats held the house, the senate and the presidency for only two years, but out of that came obamacare and dodd-frank, the two biggest expansions of
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government and killers of jobs to come out of washington in 50 years. i didn't want the government to shut down. nobody did. but we cannot continue to run headlong into failure. if we are going to change course, the republicans can't do it on their own. the president and harry reid in the senate will have to participate. mr. reid, we're asking once again for a conference. mr. president, it's way past time -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. rice: on no negotiation. the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded, again, to make all comments to the chair and not address someone else in the second person. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. govecombove mr. speaker, with all -- mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, with all due respect to the gentleman from south carolina
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who just spoke, i don't know what he's talking about. the bottom line is we have been negotiating. this temporary spending measure that we're talking about, harry reid negotiated it with speaker boehner and said your levels, your sequester levels. do you like i like that? i can't stand that, but i don't want to shut the government down. the bottom line what the speaker said in exchange for that there would be no extraneous materials attached to that c.r. he wasn't able to deliver on his promise because some people in your conference. it's that simple. we have tried -- the gentleman is on the budget committee. i would think being on the budget committee you'd want to go to conference. you worked on a budget, the senate worked on a budget. we tried 19 times to get you to go to conference, and you refused to negotiate with the senate on each of those occasions. every time the president negotiates, unfortunately your leadership can't deliver on the deal. so we have been negotiating,
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negotiating and still want to negotiate. but please, the gentleman gave no reason why we should shut down this government, why the republicans shut down this government. he's given no reason why we should default on our financial obligations. we ought to pass a short-term spending bill to reopen the government and we ought to pass a clean debt ceiling bill so we don't default on our financial obligations and ruin our economy. at this point, mr. speaker, i'm proud to yield one minute to the gentlewoman from california, the democratic leader, ms. pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the chair would remind all members of the essential rule of decorum of the the house. under clause 1, rule 17, members are minded to direct their remarks -- reminded to direct their remarks to the chair. it helps reduce personal confrontation between members and foster of atmosphere of stoonl respect. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. pelosi: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for
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yielding, and i associate myself with his remarks. i thank him for his extraordinary leadership on frying to keep government open. mr. speaker, much has -- this is, what, the eighth day of the republican shutdown of government. small businesses cannot get ans to expand, veterans feel uncertain about their benefits, tuition assistance and the rest, thousands of women and children will go without programs they desperately need. the shutdown could be over in hours if republicans would stop being the party of no and just take yes for an answer. so in case you don't know, i have some very good news for you. democrats have not only been willing to negotiate, democrats have already stated that they are ready to cooperate. cooperate. for example, i have good news
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-- perhaps you missed the fact that 200 members, democratic members of the house, have signed a letter saying that they're willing to accept the republican number of $986 billion, even though, the gentleman said, we don't like this number. we don't think it's adequate. but the fact is we don't like shutting down government more. so in order to open up government, 200 members have signed the letter and five additional members have made public statements of their willingness to support the republican number. there's space in this letter maybe signature of some just 17 republicans to sign. but they don't have to sign a letter. many of them made public statements which we respect and honor as their public statement that they would vote for the republican number of 286.
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this -- the speaker negotiated with senator reid. senator reid accepted the republican number -- republican house number. the president of the united states accepted the republican house number. the democrats in the house accepted the republican house number. the only people not accepting the republican house number are the republicans in the house. so when the leadership of the republican party, speaker boehner, particularly saying it can't pass the votes, they're not there, does that mean he does not trust the word of his own members who have said that they will vote for the $986 billion? let's find out. let's bring the bill to the floor. that's what we're saying, bring it to the flor, it's passed the senate, the president stands ready to sign. a number we don't like. but prefer over shutting down government. that is -- we don't like it. we want to open the doors of
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government, and we're willing to use the key of the republican number to do so. the government -- last week, democrats went a step further and post public and private discussions. speaker boehner said that he would not -- doesn't want to go to conference on the budget even though he asked for regular order in meamp. in march, early march, senator mcconnell and speaker boehner said they wanted regular order. that's a message to the president, the congress should work its will. that was good news to us. you pass a bill in the house, you pass a bill in the senate, you go to conference to reconcile your differences. perhaps the speaker didn't think the senate would pass their budget. but they did, in a matter of days after the house passed their budget. but what happened to regular order? it flew out the window. after saying we want regular
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order, no longer did the republicans want to take yes for an answer. and why? well, some of this is explained under the speaker's own statement. speaker boehner said, "under rules -- under rules -- if you appoint conferees and after 20 legislative days there's no agreement, the minority has the right to offer motions to instruct, which become politically motivated bombs to throw up on the house floor. so to be frank with you, we're following what i would describe as regular order." what i would describe as regular order is not under rules. under rules of the rules of the house. the speaker, as awesome the power the speaker has, doesn't have the power to decide what regular order is. and if you don't want to honor regular order, just say you're not going to honor it, but don't redefine it in order to keep government shut down.
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so listen to the speaker, not wanting to shut government down, wanting -- first, after it was shut down, wanting to open it, the house democrats took a step unprecedented by any minority party in the congress of the united states. the house democratic minority said we will surrender, we will relinquish our right to motions to recommit, motions to instruct, an insider term, actually, placing conditions on how we go to the conference table. so we said to the speaker, don't worry about that. if that's important to you, if you want to shut down government because you're afraid of a motion to instruct, we'll allay your fears. fear no more, mr. speaker. we will not offer these motions. as an example, we didn't offer
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the motion on the first night, which was our right to do, when this bill was introduced, as all of you will agree. so we have said we have made that claim. this is unprecedented but a necessary move to end the tea party stranglehold on our government and restore basic service which -- upon which millions of people rely. didn't take yes for an answer. 200 signatures and i wish unanimous consent to submit this letter for the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. pelosi: 200 signatures. it's a beautiful sight. because i want to tell you something. it's about cooperation. none of us likes this number. all of us want to open up government. that's why we signed it. and i want to thank congressman tim bishop and congressman patrick murphy and congressman keith ellison for producing this result. i'll put that there.